NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sacred water tainted with filth, but Hindus still perform religious rituals in Karachi , Pakistan

Source Daily News (Pakistan)
By Amar Guriro

KARACHI: Heaps of garbage including polythene bags, broken earthen pots, human waste and oil can be found outside or floating in the sea water in front of the courtyard of the century old Hanuman Temple that lies between the old bridge and the Native Jetty Bridge.

But despite being continuously polluted with toxic industrial waste, port waste, solid waste and garbage, the waters of the Arabian Sea are still sacred for the Pakistani Hindus.

Since centuries, flowing water is supposed to be sacred in Hinduism and the most sanctified river for them is the Ganges River in India. But most of the Pakistani Hindus, majority of them living in Sindh, prefer Arabian Sea and Indus River to perform their religious rituals.

The Hanuman Temple is located just beside the Karachi Port and suffers from oil pollution from ships. But despite that does not deter hundreds of Hindus from visiting the temple to perform religious rituals in the water outside its courtyard.

Before the partition of the sub-continent, the British government had established two separate bathing places for Hindus, one for men and the other for women, where the Hindus later built a temple. The foundation stone of the temple reveals that it was built in 1943.

Millions of gallons of industrial effluent from the five major industrial zones in the city are poured without treatment into the sea through Lyari River and major sewage nullahs. Besides, domestic waste is also dumped into the sea.

Four Hindu provincial ministers and a senator, who had always protested over the government’s ignorance towards the temple’s conditions before they came into power, have never bothered to give the temple a thought since becoming part of the government.

PPP leader and senator Dr Khatu Mal Jeevan was the head of the Mandar Bachaayo Committee (save the temple committee) and held several press conferences to criticize the government for not assisting Hindus in improving the temple’s conditions.

Last year, he was elected as senator and since then, he has neither visited the temple nor spoken about it. The same is the case with PPP leaders Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Mohan Mal Kohistani and Daya Ram Essrani, all three currently provincial ministers in the Sindh government. They were known for raising voice for the rights of Hindus when they were not part of the government. But since coming into power, it appears they have forgotten about their previous demands.

According to the national census of 1998, there are 2.3 million Hindus living in Pakistan with 85 percent of them in Sindh province.

The Hindus in Sindh consider Indus River as the most sacred river, as they believe that one of the four Vedas was written on its edges.

In the past, Hindus used to visit Indus to perform their religious rituals and rushed to the river to immerse the ashes of their cremated loved ones.

But since the last few years due to the decreasing flow from upstream in Punjab, the river does not have the water flows that could allow the Hindus to perform religious rituals, so some of them travel to Sukkur to find some water in the river or the Arabian Sea.

But it appears that the increasing pollution along the coast would force them to find other holy waters.

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